It is Day one of the lockdown in NZ, and 4 more cases were reported this morning including a nurse who was fully vaccinated. There are some people querying if the case started in the hospital: we have imported people with COVID 19 after lobbying from the UN and an ex PM. This is causing problems, and the nurses, being responsible people, have delayed their strike action. My contacts say that the nurses are more angry than they have been in living memory.
Nurses have call off strike action set for 19 August following a community case of Covid-19 in Auckland and a nationwide lockdown.
The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) this evening announced it had withdraw its strike action plans.
Some women were having their planned caesareans cancelled, and operations deferred as midwives and nurses geared up to walk off the job on Thursday
All signs were that the strikes would go ahead before today’s news of a community case of Covid-19 in Auckland.
Talk had focused on contingency planning rather than contract negotiations.
About 30,000 nurses, midwives and health care assistants from the Nurses Organisation and 1500 midwives from the MERAS union were to hold separate strikes on the same day after they failed to reach agreements over pay and conditions with district health boards (DHBs).
Hospitals had been making plans, cutting services and taking out radio and newspaper ads telling people how they would be affected.
DHBs’ national contingency planner Anne Aitcheson said hospitals would normally try to reduce their occupancy to about 85 percent during a strike.
But that had not been possible because winter illnesses such as RSV meant there were a lot of people who needed urgent care, she said.
That meant they had to ask more nurses than usual to stay on the job for essential care.
Both sides would have had to agree on the number of union staff who need to stay working to provide what are known as life preserving services.
The nurses organisation’s Glenda Alexander had said it had been difficult to get enough to put their hands up to work during the strike in some big city district health boards, and in some mental health services.
That was because they were frustrated with chronic understaffing, she said.
"I guess they are saying – we have to put up with these unsafe conditions all the time so why should we go further to help out when we are in a dispute," she said.
Aitcheson had said the nurses were not being asked to cover above and beyond normal staffing levels – and final details for Thursday were still being sorted.
Emergency services would have still been available for those who needed them, she said.
Earlier this month, the DHBs took the Nurses Organisation to the Employment Court over the details of how the staffing agreements are worked out.
A judge has reserved his decision.
Auckland – when we lock down we lock down. pic.twitter.com/GEiUrHEpAj
— TimmyHowl (@TimmyHowl) August 17, 2021
Have I said today, yet that the doofuses in control are tone death. Hat tip to David Farrar. Our PM made the list of most tone deaf responses to the Taliban taking over Afghanistan.
>[New Zealand’s Prime Minister has ‘implored’ Taliban leaders to uphold human rights](https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-9-worst-responses-to-afghanistan-s-fall), telling a press conference ‘What we want to see is women and girls being able to access work and education’ which she insightfully noted ‘are things that have traditionally not been available to them where there has been governance by Taliban.’
The Taliban. Do. Not. Care. They want Shari’a and they will [ensure Afghanistan gets it](https://voxday.net/2021/08/16/can-we-vote-for-them/).
Not that the woke are much better. Michael Bassett, who lived through the end of Fortress NZ (all goods made here at higher cost) wrote this a couple of days ago. Before the COVID delta variant was found in Devonport.
>[Jacinda Ardern’s government knows no history](https://www.bassettbrashandhide.com/post/fortress-new-zealand-an-ancient-failed-labour-vision) and seems incapable of delivering anything except nice-sounding slogans. She and her ministers couldn’t be happier with a scenario where the borders are closed and all major initiatives have to be run past them first. Covid has provided her ministry with the perfect excuse to keep the borders closed as long as possible. The painfully slow ordering of vaccines for New Zealanders, meaning that we have the slowest vaccination rate in the OECD, isn’t happening accidentally. It’s part of the government’s plan. If the Delta Variant creeps in, that will provide a platform for daily press conferences where the Prime Minister can look concerned and wave phony solutions, and fill the TV news programmes. But like Savage’s, her strategy will fail in the long run. New Zealand relies too heavily on trade, and already many business people are champing at the bit, wanting to travel so they can meet with customers. Jacinda might still hope that we can be self-sufficient, but New Zealand never has been, and never will be. Efforts to create her Wonderland will fail.
>At least the First Labour Government under Peter Fraser and Dr Clarence Beeby understood the importance of education. This time, the Labour Government is trying to cement into New Zealanders’ consciousness the notion that we are different and should close our minds to protect our unique culture. This is where the “all things Maori” policy fits in. The government is re-writing school syllabuses to promote nonsense Maori assertions about the “evils” of colonialism using fundamentally flawed versions of New Zealand’s history. Same with the promotion of Maori “science”. International agencies have recently shown that our language and mathematical skills are in serious decline in schools, but the ministry will push the decline a little faster. Ministers won’t make any serious effort to cure school truancy, and nor will any extra hours be added to the school day to make up for the time wasted on compulsory Kapa Haka and Te Reo
We thought of a solution. There are a large number of Primary School Teachers who want to teach reading writing and arithmetic not the woke things. They can set up small schools — a tithe to the home school coop — and then bring in specialist science, music, drama and sport teachers. And it may encourage more mothers to home school.
Because the only benefit of the current lock down is that it means there will be less days for the rainbow activists embedded in our schools to do damage.
And the government? Doubling down. Firstly, use of modeling and fear:
>[Officials are expecting up to 120 cases of Delta-strain Covid-19 infections in New Zealand.](https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/covid-19-coronavirus-delta-outbreak-up-to-120-delta-cases-expected-7-confirmed-major-new-locations-outbreak-traced-to-nsw/)
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield are giving today’s Covid update at the Beehive.
“We are absolutely anticipating more cases,” Ardern said.
Most of the current cases are of people in their 20s and “we could expect already between 50 to 120 cases,” Bloomfield said. The key is to find them as soon as possible.
Modelling data showed those numbers were possible, Bloomfield said, while Ardern added that variations will depend on people’s compliance, Ardern said.
There are now seven cases in the community, with two additional cases to report from the five announced this morning. A 20-year-old and 19-year-old are the latest cases, and are linked to the other cases.
Secondly, use of masks.
>[Ardern said Cabinet has now confirmed its decision about mask use made earlier this week](https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/449421/watch-live-govt-reveals-new-rules-for-mask-use-in-level-four).
“From 11.50pm tonight, it will be mandatory for everyone aged 12 and over to wear a mask when they are visiting any of the essential services that are currently open, including supermarkets, pharmacies and service stations.”
Staff will also be required to wear a mask.
Mandatory mask use will now also include places like bus terminals and taxis.
“Simply put at level 4 if you are in a place that is allowed to be open to provide services to people, or transport, you must wear a mask.”
New Zealand entered a nationwide alert level four lockdown overnight after a case of Covid-19 was found in the community yesterday.
Ardern also confirmed the Covid-19 Delta virus at the centre of the outbreak in New Zealand originated in Australia.
She said genome sequencing overnight has confirmed the outbreak is Delta, and secondly, that it is linked to the NSW outbreak.
Dr Bloomfield said there are now a further two cases in the community, bringing the total to seven, after four more cases were found earlier today.
It’s worth noting that [cloth or surgical masks are not that useful](https://qz.com/2042410/how-effective-masks-are-against-the-delta-variant/), and tighter masks do significantly affect your breathing. Besides, the data on their effectiveness is poor.
>[There are no studies of individuals wearing homemade fabric masks in the course of their typical activities](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556964/). Therefore, we have only limited, indirect evidence regarding the effectiveness of such masks for protecting others, when made and worn by the general public on a regular basis. That evidence comes primarily from laboratory studies testing the effectiveness of different materials at capturing particles of different sizes.
The evidence from these laboratory filtration studies suggests that such fabric masks may reduce the transmission of larger respiratory droplets. There is little evidence regarding the transmission of small aerosolized particulates of the size potentially exhaled by asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals with COVID-19. The extent of any protection will depend on how the masks are made and used. It will also depend on how mask use affects users’ other precautionary behaviors, including their use of better masks, when those become widely available. Those behavioral effects may undermine or enhance homemade fabric masks’ overall effect on public health. The current level of benefit, if any, is not possible to assess.
Thirdly, arresting any protestors.
>[Anti-lockdown activists and Covid-19 deniers have gathered in Auckland’s central business district to protest the snap lockdown](https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-coronavirus-delta-outbreak-billy-tk-arrested-at-anti-lockdown-protest-in-auckland/OOH4W72BQKSPCHDXT6IOSQ56VY/) – with its organiser being arrested 43 minutes into the event.
And the nation’s top police officer says his staff will not hesitate to deal with others flouting lockdown regulations and having unlawful gatherings.
Controversial musician and politcal hopeful Billy Te Kahika was leading the gathering, which has attracted about 50 people outside TVNZ’s HQ on the corner of Victoria and Hobson streets.
Speaking after his arrest during her 1pm Covid-19 update, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quizzed about the event, responding: “I don’t want to let the action of small numbers actually characterise everyone, because that’s just not the case.
“It is disappointing that some choose to put others at risk”.
Police Commissioner Andrew Coster confirmed four people had been arrested at the gathering.
Other protests were hosted outside police stations in Nelson in Tauranga. Four people had been arrested in Tauranga.
In the current environment, stay away from crowds.
Concentrate on what you can do. Stay in larger groups, and accept some risk. To isolate is to find that no man can live as an island.
A tough choice was made here tonight during level 4 lockdown pic.twitter.com/waAlcL2NmD
— Charlie Pome'e THD® (@CharliePomee) August 17, 2021